Archive for the ‘Graham’ Tag

Things I Learned At The Street Fair, 2015   7 comments

I returned to the Graham Street Fair after a 38 year absence. While I was in Missouri for a delightful weekend, I learned a few things….

  1. My biggest fear in returning to Graham after such a long absence was that I wouldn’t recognize anyone.
  2. I recognized some people. Honest.
  3. I didn’t recognize a LOT of people. Sorry.
  4. I grew up in the Graham Methodist Church. I haven’t been in that church since … 1972? It’s been a while. They have a new kitchen/fellowship room/annex. I’m not sure what they call it, but it’s handicap accessible, has a full kitchen, and seats … well, everybody. That’s how it seemed, anyway. Lovely place. We went to the church for a pot luck lunch that they offered, and we saw many, many people there. Met the new pastor. Ran into a lot of friends, family, classmates, families of classmates … friends. Fabulous time, all in all. Great lunch, before the parade. And since there’s no restaurant in town, this was the only sit-down meal option.
  5. Do they still ring the bell for Sunday morning services, even though it’s no longer in the steeple? I loved ringing that bell.
  6. The sanctuary got smaller. At least, it used to be a lot bigger in my mind. Like everything except my waistline, apparently.
  7. Vehicles in the parking lot for the church included 2 UTVs. Do people actually drive these around town? When did that become a thing?
  8. There’s a new business in town: Graham Feed & Seed. I’m told they employ as many as 18 or 20 people, in season. They had 4 trucks in the parade, I believe. That’s incredible, and speaks to new hope for employment in the area. And, they have a Facebook page, so I know they’re legit.
  9. Overheard, on health care: “After you’re 40, it’s all maintenance.”
  10. Brought my longest telephoto lens to shoot the parade. Didn’t need it, of course. I forgot that I could sit right on the parade route. And switch sides as needed. To shoot the parade photos, I used the shortest lens I own. I could have used a fisheye lens. I was close to the action. Thisclose.
  11. One of the kids’ entries into the parade included a cat that was to ride along in the owners’ kids’ vehicle. I’m told the cat took exception to being drafted into the parade, and took off for parts unknown before the parade began. I never heard if the cat was found.
  12. What happened to the marching band uniforms? No excuse for the look of the band. IMHO. But then, I’m old.
  13. I’m told that 50 kids are in the band this year, which is truly an incredible accomplishment. Congrats to the band teacher, whoever you are. You’ve clearly got it going on. But, if you’d like a consultation on uniforms….
  14. The Nodaway Holt Trojans of Graham/Maitland/Skidmore did not have enough students enrolled that wanted to play football to field a team this year. And, come to find out, neither did the South Holt Knights of Oregon. They decided to merge, and have created the SH/NH Spartans. The team is currently 1-1, come to find out.
  15. South Holt has embraced the concept, and has the Spartan logo incorporated into the header of their website. Nodaway Holt? Not so much. Mergers are difficult.
  16. The most fun in the parade, though, was when the Spartan cheerleaders launched a seemingly unprovoked water balloon attack on the Spartan football team (which had 28 members in the team photo that published in the Maryville Daily Forum, by the way). In any event, I took this bit of fun as a good sign that there was team spirit, in spite of the new 2-school merger. Further, I took the fact that the football team jumped off of a moving vehicle and ran away from the liquid assault without a single injury to be a good sign as well. Ah, youth.
  17. Kudos to the football players who marched with the marching band, and then circled back to get back into the parade on the Spartan football team float. Good for you.
  18. I’m told there are 102 students in the Graham high school building this year, down significantly from when I was in the class of ’74. This year’s senior class numbers 20 … my class, 41 years ago, was 36 as I recall. The school is shrinking.
  19. Graham’s population in 1970: 213. Population in 2010: 171. That’s a loss of 20%. The loss in the senior class from 1974 – 2015, though, was 44%. Young families have left town, clearly.
  20. There’s no way to feel good about the viability of Nodaway-Holt – and South Holt – in the long term. The population shrinkage – that I was a part of – indicates more school mergers are needed, I fear.
  21. Did anyone know why those young men were walking in the parade in faux Indian costumes? They are Boy Scouts, and represent the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. A little signage wouldn’t hurt…. And yours truly, Tom Tom Beater Twisted Grass, was surprised that costumes were not as intricate as I remembered.
  22. Graham has truly lost its center. All of the businesses on “Main Street” east of the hardware are gone. The post office building is condemned. Speck’s grocery store has fallen in. The A&A has trees growing up through the floor. There is no downtown.
  23. Since when are there vendors at the Street Fair? Made me feel like I was at … well, like at a Street Fair. In California, with Mrs. M’s Handmade. Just sayin’!
  24. I got to the Fire Station after the parade, hoping to see who won the blue ribbons for all of the arts, crafts & produce. Either I was late, and many of the entries has already been removed … or this is no longer the big deal that it was in the old bank building. SHOCKING. I wish I would have brought cutting boards to enter.
  25. Congrats to Kirby Hanson who won a Grand Prize for a sweet corn entry. As he said on Facebook, “Finally!”
  26. This little town of Graham, MO, population 171, had at least 500 people watching the parade, and then had … 200? … actually appearing in the parade.
  27. It was very nice having adult conversations with classmates – perhaps my first adult conversations with them, ever. I believe I saw 4 classmates. Great to catch up, Michelle, Susan, Becky & Teresa!
  28. Where was everybody else? I know others had to be here … somewhere. Sorry I missed you.
  29. Great to see my Shull family at the parade, and my Mowry family at our family reunion after the parade. Family is a wonderful thing.

So, what did I learn by going back to the Street Fair after being gone for so long?

There’s no place like home.

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My Mother, Who Is Grand

Graham Street Fair Parade, 2015, Part 1

Graham Street Fair Parade, Part 2

Things I Learned At The Street Fair (3/25/2014)

 

 

 

Posted September 3, 2015 by henrymowry in Living Life

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My Mother, Who Is Grand   9 comments

Cruzn To The Street FairMy mother was selected to be the 2015 Grand Marshall of our hometown parade at the Graham Street Fair. It seems only fitting, as you will learn, since she helped plan the first Street Fair 64 years ago.

Here is her story, as told by her in the “Cruz’n To The Fair” program book for the 2015 Graham Street Fair:

Letha Maria Mowry, preschool RTLetha (Shull) Mowry was born southeast of Graham on the 2 March 1930 to Lee Edison & Ruth Mary (Decker) Shull. Dad was a renter so we moved from my birthplace to northeast of Graham, then moved west of Maryville and then southwest of Maitland. It was from there I started school, in a rural school at the ripe old age of 5 years.

I later went to Maitland Elementary School for a couple of years, and then moved to the farm the folks bought northwest of Graham. I attended Elkhorn rural school until it closed and we went to Graham for my eighth grade year.

James Woods Decker. Graham High School teacher, principal and Grandfather.

James Woods Decker. Graham High School teacher, principal and Grandfather.

It was quite an experience to have science taught by my Grandpa Decker – and to be scolded by a Senior girl for not paying respect to Mr. Decker! He then announced in each class that I was his granddaughter and could call him Grandpa!

The Pipeline Booster Station was being built near our house northwest of Graham, and a better road was needed. In the fall of 1943, the hedge on either side of the road was bulldozed out into the road in preparation … October came and it rained and rained and rained. No school bus could go up that road, and we were 3.5 miles from the blacktop. My third grade little sister, Mary Nelle and I couldn’t make that walk twice a day, so it was determined Mom, Mary Nelle, James Leroy and I would go to Maryville to live with Grandma (Cora Baugher) Shull. I enrolled in Horace Mann High School, and Leroy was enrolled in Kindergarten there. Mary Nelle couldn’t go there (they had limited enrollment and the third grade was full), so she had to go to Eugene Field Elementary School.

The Shull Kids, 1940

The Shull Kids, 1940

Mom and the kids went home for the summer, but I had to work, so I stayed on with Grandma. I baby-sat and cleaned houses for the hefty sum of a quarter an hour! I chose to stay on to graduate from HMHS as there was work available – and I thought the opportunity for college was here, too.

Letha Shull, Senior Picture, 1947 Horace Mann High School, Maryville, MO

Letha Shull, Senior Picture, 1947 Horace Mann High School, Maryville, MO

My senior year in High School I went to college in the morning and high school in the afternoon. I went to college that summer and ended with 29.5 college credits. That fall (1947), I taught at Lincoln rural school north of Oregon, MO.

I was offered a contract for the next year, but declined as Bob Mowry and I were married 16 June 1948 in the Methodist parsonage at Maitland, MO and I became a farm wife.

I was active in the Good Luck Club and joined Decker Rebekah Lodge # 843 in 1952.

In 1951, when the Graham Street Fair was started, I helped with that also. I was the Good Luck Club representative. The Lyle Club was responsible for the planning. We met at Cora Lyle’s home to begin the planning for that first fair.

Robert & Letha Mowry, 1948

Robert & Letha Mowry, 1948

Bob and I remained living southeast of Graham where our children Mary Elizabeth (16 Oct 1951) and Henry Lee (15 July 1956) were born and grew up. Both are graduates of Nodaway Holt R-VII. In 1971, Bob and I bought a home in Graham and lived there until Bob’s death 28 Oct 1985. By then, both kids were gone from home and married.

While living in Graham, I became active in the Graham Historical Society. In fact, when the first history On The Banks Of The Elkhorn was put together, it was assembled around our dining room table by Earnest & Ardith Kneale and Bob and I. It was about that time that both Earnest and Bob threatened us with divorce if we did another book.

The next volume came out a year later but no divorces – nor was it assembled around a dining room table.

After Bob’s death, I needed to go to work so I was determined that I needed more education. I enrolled in the NWMO Technical School in Maryville, MO under the Displaced Housewives program. I was enrolled in the secretarial education class to learn computers. My education cycle had come full circle – my teacher was Elizabeth! I DID earn my grades!

1 Jan 1987 I began work as Deputy Recorder of Deeds working under Donna Carmichael, Recorder. Commuting from Graham to Maryville each day was not easy for a widow woman, so in the spring I purchased a home in Maryville and moved there in April.

Graham is still “down home” in my heart and will remain so!

Letha, with Henry & Elizabeth. 2006.

Letha, with Henry & Elizabeth. 2006. This is the photo that will forever be known as Mom’s attitude photo! It was Sis’ fault, honest.

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Things I Learned At The Street Fair

Things I Learned At The Street Fair   12 comments

Here's the Graham Street Fair, circa 1958. I don't know the kid on the bicycle. I'm the one relaxing on the counter of the booth. Don't you love my cowboy shirt with the pearl buttons? When I went to the Street Fair, I was styling. The lady to my left is my Grandmother, Juanita Boring Mowry.

Here’s the Graham Street Fair, circa 1958. I’m the one relaxing on the counter of the booth. Relaxing is something I did at the Street Fair. Don’t you love my cowboy shirt? When I went to the Street Fair, I was styling. The three ladies were running a game booth … a ball toss … as a fund raiser for the Good Luck Club. They are, from left, my Grandmother, Juanita Boring Mowry, Blanche Holaday Miller, and finally Thelma Wade Rowlett – now over 100 years old – who lives today in Savannah, MO. The little lady on the right is my sister, Mary Elizabeth Mowry. The boy on the bike is unidentified.

The past weekend was Mrs. M’s Handmade’s first retail event … a parking lot pop-up in Santa Clarita called the Street Fair.

I grew up in rural northwestern Missouri, near Graham, MO. Graham had an annual event called the Street Fair, and I thought that was the height of entertainment in the early 60’s. There was a parade with the high school marching band (the best band EVER). There were contests for the best quilt. A greased pig contest. A cake walk.

The Graham Street Fair didn’t take over a parking lot … it took over Main Street.

When I was a baby, I won for being the kid with the reddest hair. Well, actually, I would say that Mom won (HA). But she gave me the ribbon.

The Street Fair was a wonderful thing.

Flash forward, uh, 50ish years, and I went to a whole different kind of Street Fair last weekend.

This time, I didn’t win any prizes. And I definitely didn’t have the reddest hair at this Fair. It was the inaugural retail event for Mrs. Mr’s Handmade, though, and I did learn a few things:

1. In Santa Clarita, there are no marching bands at the Street Fair.

2. Food is not served by the nice ladies that are your neighbors. Rather, it’s served from gourmet food trucks.

3. In LA, “gourmet food truck” is not considered an oxymoron. The trucks have websites. They have fans. They have Truffle Mac & Cheese (yum).

4. You won’t see all of your neighbors at the Santa Clarita Street Fair. We only saw two people from our neighborhood. It’s a big world out there.

5. People don’t dress up to go to the Santa Clarita Street Fair. I didn’t see one cowboy shirt, and I didn’t see one kid laying down on a counter. Come to think of it, I didn’t see a counter, either.

6. No bicycles. I did see 3 skate boards … Penny boards, actually.

Logo-300x7. Mrs. M’s wasn’t the only store there offering handmade products, but we were on the more uncommon side. The sweet young ladies running the booth next to us sold unique handmade jewelry that they make for ankles & feet. They were good neighbors, and Little Girl even approves. Check out their website, here.

8. The lady across the way started her business because she was tired of buying cat clothing for her dogs. Doggie Custom Couture was born. I’m pretty sure that back in Graham, I never heard a complaint about not having suitable clothing available for dogs. Or cats, for that matter. Maybe that’s a Missouri benefit that I never knew: pets are properly (un)clothed in Missouri. Always. It’s only in California that there’s a problem (insert rim shot or snappy comeback of your choice, here).

9. Is this a good thing to hear when someone tries a lotion? “I might want to gnaw off my arm that smells so good.” When people start talking about eating body parts, I’m not on board. Self-cannibalism was never an issue at the Graham Street Fair.

10. The Santa Clarita Street Fair required each shade canopy to be weighted down with 100 pounds. Note the Graham booth in the picture, above: all wood construction, and no extra weights on board. (On board. HA. I kill me.) The result of our new fangled shade structures in Santa Clarita: an unweighted shade structure took flight. It was pretty, in the wind. I didn’t see it land; that would not have been pretty.

11. Our south side neighbor was a little odd on Sunday. Best dialogue we heard: “Are these dresses for little girls?” “No, they’re towels.” Remember, we’re in Southern California, 5 years ahead of fashion in the midwest. Just sayin’.

12. Heard from a vendor: “We’ve been doing this Fair for so long together, she’s going on vacation next month and I’m going to man her booth.” Now, that’s neighborly, and that’s a kind thing … in Santa Clarita.

13. Almost everyone walked by my cheese boards, and said “Ooo, pretty!” They touched them … and then they walked away. And so I learned, it’s not fun being the prettiest one at the dance if no one wants to take you for a spin.

At the end of the day, we had patrons ask if some people had gone home early. They expected more, you see. I guess this Street Fair was not the height of entertainment for them.

Mrs. M and Mrs. M, before they opened on their first day. Smiles on faces, and that is a very good thing!

Mrs. M and Mrs. M, before they opened on their first day. Smiles on faces, and that is a very good thing!

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Mrs. M’s Handmade Products

 

Posted March 25, 2014 by henrymowry in California, Living Life

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The 100th Post   6 comments

I started this blog with no one’s permission.  It’s just like when you were a teenager:  if you don’t ask permission, no one can say no.

The blog was launched last June — for fun! — and I’m having fun.  By the fact that you’re reading this, I assume you’re enjoying the blog as well — at least on the good days.

In celebration of MowryJournal’s 100th post (can you believe it???) on its 146th day of existence, I’m going to list 25 things you don’t know about me.  Well, you won’t know all of them.

1. I decided early on I was not a farmer.  My Grandfather had my sister and I help harvest potatoes one year, and our reward (?) was to raise some runt pigs for market.  Runts wouldn’t survive on their own; they needed the personal care that we apparently were expected to provide.  The pigs were eventually sold at the St Joseph, MO stockyards, and I eventually learned I was not a pig farmer.

2. Car accident # 1:  I was a passenger, and we had a head-on collision with a snow plow.

3. I was the student council president for the Nodaway-Holt Trojans, class of ’74.  Our big accomplishment: we got a soda machine for the students.  This would be illegal in California today.

4. Worst meal of my life: dinner, January 30, 1983. Christopher was weakening (1 day old but 2 months premature) and had just been put on a ventilator. I went to the hospital cafeteria for dinner alone and literally tasted ashes in my mouth. And the food was not burnt.

5. I grew up admiring Mr. & Mrs EA Pence, who went to my church.  They also attended the Blue & Gold Banquets every year for my Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop.  Mr. Pence had a Silver Beaver award. I didn’t know what it meant when I was 10 years old, but I knew he was an important Scouter and deserved my respect.  I never put on my Silver Beaver without thinking of Mr. Pence.

6. My first college dorm was the first place I lived in with a shower.

7. Largest amount of money I’ve been given for a single idea: $450,000.  Largest contact I’ve implemented:  $2.1 million.  Today’s sales:  $13,027.

8. # jobs while working through college: 8. Carpenter, landscaper, electrician, bookseller, lighting designer, follow spot operator, bartender/dish washer, door-to-door accordion lesson salesman.

9. To “pay” for the feed that was needed to raise those runt pigs, I had to take the family out to dinner.  We went to the truck stop on the 5 Mile Corner, near Maryville, MO.  I remember paying the waitress’ tip in nickels … and it would have been a 15% tip.

10. Car Accident # 2: My car was hit by a parked vehicle.  Willard Fincham didn’t properly set the gearshift for his 1/2 ton truck when he parked it on Main Street in front of Speck Dougan’s store in Graham, MO.  The truck bed was filled with concrete blocks.  The truck slipped into neutral and rolled down the hill to hit the left rear fender of Grandma’s cherished ’59 Oldsmobile Super 88 before I could get parked & out of the way.  I then had to muster my 16-year-old courage and tell Grandma what I had done.  It was not a good day.

11. Wackiest job ever: age 16, and teaching 70+ 11-year-olds how to cook shish kabob skewers over open fires that they had to build.  Thank goodness raw beef isn’t toxic, or there would have been many sick 2nd class Scouts at Camp Geiger in 1972.

12. All 3 of our kids are still with their high school sweethearts.  Makes some sense: Velda and I became an item when we were 18.  However, that means we were actually older than the kids were when we started dating.

13. The best job in Scouting for an adult?  Cubmaster.  You’re the leader of Pack Meetings, and you’re one part ringmaster, one part magician and one part general.  You are adored by 7-year-olds.  Even the 10-year-old Webelos tend to be on good behavior around you.

14. Think you know fear?  I remember being 6 years old and having to make trips to the outhouse in the dark, armed with nothing but a flashlight.  We lived in the country, of course, so no street lights, and some things really DID go bump in the night.  And when the dogs came tearing out of the darkness to see who was in their yard … I knew fear.

Here I am feeding my new calves, Hessie & Bessie.

15. After deciding there was no money in pig farming, I took the cash from selling my pigs and bought two Holstein calves.  Purchased from the Hesnault Farm, I named them Hessie & Bessie.  My visions of profits evaporated when one proved barren and the other lost her first calf.  My livestock dreams ended when we sold the farm the next year, and moved into the big city of Graham, MO, then with a population of 213.

16. Best theatrical role: Noble the Lion in Reynard the Fox at the University of Missouri, 1979.  I wore yellow tights and a brown taffeta mane.  Yes, I am thankful no pictures have survived. Starring role:  Tom Destry in Destry Rides Again, a role played by Andy Griffith in the movie.  For the good of humanity, my list of theatrical appearances is mercifully short.  I did not belong on the stage; my skills were better used in directing and lighting design.

Yes, that’s a 4″x4″ white bandage covering my head wound in our wedding pictures.

17. Car Accident # 3: Six days before my wedding, I had a head-on collision with a 1/2 ton Chevy pickup, totaling both it and my new VW Rabbit. All my fault.

18. Least favorite college course:  psychology.  # of our children that majored in psychology:  2.

19. Like too many woodworkers, I had an accident with my table saw.  I was building our new kitchen cabinets, using the saw without the proper safety shields — like a stupid person.  Today, I don’t remove safety shields from power tools.  My little finger, which is about 98% effective after two operations, recommends you do the same.

20. The most fun I have is at the dinner table with Velda’s cooking & our family.

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

21. Best National Park I’ve visited:  Yosemite.  I also love Sequoia, which is a close second.  I have many more to visit, however.

22. Worst alarm clock I’ve ever had:  the 8am tap dancing class that was on the stage next to the room Velda and I had been given to live in for the summer. We were on staff at a summer dance/arts/theater camp for ages 12 – college. We called it a “honeymoon.”  We were “wrong.”

23. I paid the national touring talent prior to their concert performances at Six Flags Magic Mountain for several years.  I only had one road manager show me his gun before I paid him.  He was just being friendly; he had one of the top Country artists of the early ’80s and he wanted to make sure I understood he was serious. Good times.

24. I worked only briefly as a professional teacher, and it made me a 4th generation teacher in my family.  My sister had a long career as a teacher, and now daughter-in-law # 2, MrsMowry in this blog, carries the torch in Gen 5.

25. Why is it we can’t agree on how to spell whiskey?  I’m very disappointed that my favorite cocktail might be whiskey, whisky or bourbon, depending on who made it and where they are.  Can’t we all just get along?

And that seems like a great place to stop.  It’s 5 o’clock somewhere….

My Great-Grandfather James Decker, Grandmother Ruth Decker Shull and Mother Letha Shull all taught in the vicinity of Graham, MO in the fall of 1947.

Your Family Tree   2 comments

Letha Shull, age 16, showing a bit of the grit that would power her genealogy research decades later!

My Mom got into genealogy by accident, really.  As part of the Bicentennial celebration, our home town was publishing a history of the community.  “On the Banks of the Elk Horn” was to include the history of the town and the families that had lived there.  Mom was tasked by the committee with writing the history of the Mowry family, so Mom dutifully talked to the older generation and wrote our history in 1972.

Multiple members of my family had copies of these pictures of my Great Great Grandparents, but not all of them were labeled so we knew who they were!

A year later, she was convinced, much of what she had written was wrong.  The oral history she relied on was proven inaccurate when confronted with basic research into county records that were easily available.

And Mom’s love of genealogy was born.

She began buying 3×5 cards by the case, and typing individual records of life events on each card (so, one for a birth, one for a marriage, etc).  She typed cards for every announcement in the local newspaper, and then began adding other published records.

Eventually, she typed thousands of cards for everything in the four counties in northwest Missouri, and then started adding more esoteric records, such as funeral home and cemetery records.  A database was created, and then re-written.  And she’s now begun entering all of those old index cards into the database.

She’s a few thousand cards in, and she’s still only in the B’s.  And this is still what she does for fun!

I knew my father was adopted, but I didn’t know he cost $23 until Mom showed me this receipt!

Mom has infected me with her passion, of course, and I’ve tried to help her around the edges since the ’80s. I had access to unique resources in LA back before everything was online.  Today, her decades of knowledge still far outweighs my access to the LDS library in Santa Monica!

She’s already done a huge, huge amount of work, taking our family back multiple generations (and proving multiple connections to the Revolutionary War soldiers which will eventually be used for my Granddaughter’s DAR membership, for example).  Mom’s work has taken the Mowry line now back 7 generations to John “Maurer” Mowry, born in 1725.  The Morgan and MacDonald family lines are also back into the 1700s.

Not all records are in the family bibles! These birth and marriage dates were recorded by my Great Grandmother on to a wall hanging that included photos of her 7 kids.

Remember, though, where her journey began: bad information from relatives that she had to record and then disprove on her way to a more complete understanding of our family tree.

So, how should YOU get started?

  1.  Write down what you know … for some people that’s their personal information only.  Some people are lucky enough to know their grandparents and even great-grandparents — and their birth dates.  It’s a very rare person, though, that actually knows birth, marriage and death dates back 3 generations.  Write down what you THINK you know … here are some forms you can download and use to get started, here or here.
  2. Write down what you don’t know … this could very well be a larger list.  Sometimes you discover things you don’t know along the way … like a new step grandmother that your grandfather never mentioned.
  3. Talk to your immediate family for information, direction & more.  You’ll probably know what you can talk about with your immediate family … and what subjects you best avoid.  It’s great to know “everything” … but do you really NEED to know every divorce date?  Avoid those topics that will incite relatives, and lead to them disengaging from your project.
  4. Get pictures!  If you have been following my blog, you know that I love family pictures.  You will be very surprised at the pictures that various members of your family have that you’ve never seen.  Even your immediate family will likely have pictures that you’ve never seen before.
  5. Talk to your extended family.  Some cousins may not be happy with prying questions about marriage dates, birth dates … not everyone will want to share private information!  Ask questions, be happy with the answers … and then you can check them for accuracy on your own time!
  6. Get pictures!  When you look at pictures from your extended family, you’ll be amazed what you will find.  Cousins will have new pictures, identifications on pictures that may be unlabeled in your collection, or simply better prints that are in better condition that the pictures in your immediate family’s collection.
  7. Begin your research.  I’ll leave research tips to the myriad of published and online resources that you have to call upon.  My go to is Ancestry.com; it’ll help you in many ways — but be careful.  Just because something is online doesn’t mean it is true!

    This picture is from a tin type, and is probably the oldest in our family’s collection. John Blair Morgan died in 1865, age 73.

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